Rejecting candidates the right way

As recruiters, we often get asked by our clients when is the ideal time to send out a rejection notice.

Generally, most of us have a good sense within 30 seconds of reading an application or meeting a person, whether or not they would be the right person for the position.

Rejecting candidates is a double edged sword… You can be criticised for sending them ‘too’ soon and also for not sending unsuccessful candidates a notification at all. Although it is challenging to find the balance between being efficient and professional, we believe that the most courteous solution is waiting a couple of days before sending them.

Whatever your choice of medium, whether it be an automated email, personalised phone call or text message, sending any form of a rejection notice too soon after an interview often makes people feel defeated – making them feel that not enough consideration was made regarding their application and/or interview performance.

Allowing time however, between applications or meeting with the candidate and notifying them of their unsuccessful application ensures that the candidate feels that they have been considered for the position.

Another slightly less obvious reason to wait before rejecting unsuccessful candidates is on the recruiting side – you want to ensure that the person you’ve selected for your role is happy to proceed with your offer. You don’t want to burn your bridges too quickly with other candidates to then find out that your front runner has decided to not proceed.

At New Point Recruitment we have found that the best way to manage interactions with candidates and ensure the delivery of correct information is through the creation of a candidate response checklist. We start with a clear response to every single application, outlining our process and points of contact along their recruitment journey (even if it may be very short). The aim of this strategy is to ultimately lower confusion around the application process, minimise candidate frustrations and ensure communication is consistent for applicants.

If you would like to learn more about what we do, please contact with us to discuss this further.